Myerberg Tech Preview: 55th

daBuzz

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965
I don't think CPJ has taken us to dizzying new heights from the CCG era. My point was that we are consistently outperforming PREseason expectations, and we are doing it in a very difficult time to do so. CCG's teams frequently did the opposite. With the whole country drooling over CJ, and with NFL talent on both lines, the backfield, and at LB, we were frequently expected to do better than we actually finished. When CPJ had some NFL talent, we all saw the results. In fact, I'd propose that CCG's offense with RB, TC, and CJ was just as talented as CPJ's with JfN, JD, and DT.

And if you're using our 40 and 34 finishes under CCG as signs of success in one post and saying it's very average in another, that's not logical.

Where did I say that was a sign of success? I think that anything outside the top 25 is very average. HOWEVER, looking at the numbers, that "very average" ranking is something that has eluded us for 4 consecutive years and we would have to exceed the preseason rankings by 15 places just to get into the "very average" top 40.

Also, I very clearly stated that I didn't consider Gailey to be the pinnacle of college coaching. FWIW, I think he was actually a bad college coach; he played the game much too conservatively because of his NFL background, IMO.
But the #'s don't lie. He had 3 years in the top 40 and I didn't even bother to point out the obvious....he left the cupboard stocked with some pretty decent players that Coach Johnson was able to take advantage of in garnering his only 2 top 40 finishes.

You mentioned JfN, JD and DT...all of those guys, along with Michael Johnson, Derrick Morgan, Vance Walker, Daryl Richards, Andrew Gardner, Kevin Cone, Morgan Burnett, Mario Butler, and Cord Howard were guys who eventually made it to the NFL and were recruited and brought to GT that Johnson was able to use in either or both of the 2008 and 2009 years. That's 12 future NFL players that Coach Johnson had gift-wrapped to him when he came to GT.

Did Johnson do more with those guys than Gailey could have? IMO, he absolutely did and he deserves credit for that. However, Johnson is the head coach of GT football. He's responsible for offense, defense, special teams, academic eligibility, and recruiting. You cannot just point at his offense and say "our offense has outperformed expectations" and highlight that as a team success. He has hired 3 and fired 2 defensive coordinators in his tenure at GT. Many on these very message boards point out that this means CPJ is willing to make change. I take the contrarian approach and point out that this means the man is apparently pretty bad at selecting defensive coordinators.

Look at our roster now. I love all of these players because they're student athletes who chose to come play for an academic institution that is a b***h in the classroom and one in which I hold very dear to my heart and my wallet. Yet, I cannot honestly look at our offensive & defensive players and find more than potentially 3 or 4 future NFL players. So the talent cupboard is apparently much more bare than it was when he arrived. Yes, he has taken steps to address the recruiting and improve and that gives me hope (something that I think is necessary for anyone who wants to be a college football fan and certainly one at a touch academic school like GT).

However, let's be completely honest & candid about that as well. Despite the fact that we have improved recruiting, we are still struggling to recruit the elite players. And yes, yes, I know...we're GT, we're NEVER going to get a lot of those types of players. Well I contend that it isn't unheard of for us to expect to land a few of the Calvin Johnsons, Derrick Morgans, Morgan Burnetts or Daryl Richards. Heck, all it takes is say one or two of those guys per year to make it such that you have 8 or 10 of them available on the team.

And finally, academic eligibility. Gailey was HORRID at this because he treated the players like grown men...as he was accustomed to doing in the NFL. He had the expectation that these young men would get up & go to class, do homework, and study like they were preparing for their NFL future. He was also naive enough to trust the academic advisors and administrators appointed to the GTAA by the Hill and that eventually cost him greatly with Flunkgate. Johnson has been much better about this...to a degree. Whereas, our graduation rates have improved and that has gained CPJ a measure of limited leeway with the academic side of the house, he still uses more of a trusting approach than the coach who I think had the right approach for GT academics...O'Leary.

O'Leary had graduate assistants who followed players to class, received attendance reports from professors and reported those back to O'Leary every single day...and the players knew it. A player who missed an 8 am class could count on 5 am morning punishment runs the following day...and then being escorted by a GA to his 8 am class. While I heard many student athletes grumbling towards the end of O'Leary's tenure that "this s**t is growing old" (talking about his micro-management), the truth is that he didn't leave things like going to class or study hall to chance. It was a required team activity and you did it...or you suffered. It is true that the APR requirements had not been implemented and there were potentially a few players who didn't work the same workload that a student athlete would have to do today at GT. But I can also tell you that those players were the exception and not the rule. I can also tell you that had O'Leary's approach still been in place that Jabari Hunt-Days would very likely still be eligible for this upcoming season.
 

SidewalkJacket

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1,592
Where did I say that was a sign of success? I think that anything outside the top 25 is very average. HOWEVER, looking at the numbers, that "very average" ranking is something that has eluded us for 4 consecutive years and we would have to exceed the preseason rankings by 15 places just to get into the "very average" top 40.

Also, I very clearly stated that I didn't consider Gailey to be the pinnacle of college coaching. FWIW, I think he was actually a bad college coach; he played the game much too conservatively because of his NFL background, IMO.
But the #'s don't lie. He had 3 years in the top 40 and I didn't even bother to point out the obvious....he left the cupboard stocked with some pretty decent players that Coach Johnson was able to take advantage of in garnering his only 2 top 40 finishes.

You mentioned JfN, JD and DT...all of those guys, along with Michael Johnson, Derrick Morgan, Vance Walker, Daryl Richards, Andrew Gardner, Kevin Cone, Morgan Burnett, Mario Butler, and Cord Howard were guys who eventually made it to the NFL and were recruited and brought to GT that Johnson was able to use in either or both of the 2008 and 2009 years. That's 12 future NFL players that Coach Johnson had gift-wrapped to him when he came to GT.

Did Johnson do more with those guys than Gailey could have? IMO, he absolutely did and he deserves credit for that. However, Johnson is the head coach of GT football. He's responsible for offense, defense, special teams, academic eligibility, and recruiting. You cannot just point at his offense and say "our offense has outperformed expectations" and highlight that as a team success. He has hired 3 and fired 2 defensive coordinators in his tenure at GT. Many on these very message boards point out that this means CPJ is willing to make change. I take the contrarian approach and point out that this means the man is apparently pretty bad at selecting defensive coordinators.

Look at our roster now. I love all of these players because they're student athletes who chose to come play for an academic institution that is a b***h in the classroom and one in which I hold very dear to my heart and my wallet. Yet, I cannot honestly look at our offensive & defensive players and find more than potentially 3 or 4 future NFL players. So the talent cupboard is apparently much more bare than it was when he arrived. Yes, he has taken steps to address the recruiting and improve and that gives me hope (something that I think is necessary for anyone who wants to be a college football fan and certainly one at a touch academic school like GT).

However, let's be completely honest & candid about that as well. Despite the fact that we have improved recruiting, we are still struggling to recruit the elite players. And yes, yes, I know...we're GT, we're NEVER going to get a lot of those types of players. Well I contend that it isn't unheard of for us to expect to land a few of the Calvin Johnsons, Derrick Morgans, Morgan Burnetts or Daryl Richards. Heck, all it takes is say one or two of those guys per year to make it such that you have 8 or 10 of them available on the team.

And finally, academic eligibility. Gailey was HORRID at this because he treated the players like grown men...as he was accustomed to doing in the NFL. He had the expectation that these young men would get up & go to class, do homework, and study like they were preparing for their NFL future. He was also naive enough to trust the academic advisors and administrators appointed to the GTAA by the Hill and that eventually cost him greatly with Flunkgate. Johnson has been much better about this...to a degree. Whereas, our graduation rates have improved and that has gained CPJ a measure of limited leeway with the academic side of the house, he still uses more of a trusting approach than the coach who I think had the right approach for GT academics...O'Leary.

O'Leary had graduate assistants who followed players to class, received attendance reports from professors and reported those back to O'Leary every single day...and the players knew it. A player who missed an 8 am class could count on 5 am morning punishment runs the following day...and then being escorted by a GA to his 8 am class. While I heard many student athletes grumbling towards the end of O'Leary's tenure that "this s**t is growing old" (talking about his micro-management), the truth is that he didn't leave things like going to class or study hall to chance. It was a required team activity and you did it...or you suffered. It is true that the APR requirements had not been implemented and there were potentially a few players who didn't work the same workload that a student athlete would have to do today at GT. But I can also tell you that those players were the exception and not the rule. I can also tell you that had O'Leary's approach still been in place that Jabari Hunt-Days would very likely still be eligible for this upcoming season.

I dont disagree with everything in your post, and can't address all your points (i shouldn't be addressing any of them since I'm driving), but I definitely did not assert that offense was all that mattered (don't turn that thread into one of those debates -- there's more than enough of those). The whole program falls at CPJ's feet, without a doubt. I think he has gotten his feet under him in recruiting and is gaining traction. He also appears to have solved the D coaching issue, and hopefully the new ST/co-OL coach pays dividends. I think CPJ has been willing to make changes to our weakest components (D and ST) a lot more willingly than CCG was with his weak offenses.

I do disagree about O'Leary's adept handling of academics. The game has changed, and many of those guys would not be on GT's campus today.
 

daBuzz

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
965
I dont disagree with everything in your post, and can't address all your points (i shouldn't be addressing any of them since I'm driving), but I definitely did not assert that offense was all that mattered (don't turn that thread into one of those debates -- there's more than enough of those). The whole program falls at CPJ's feet, without a doubt. I think he has gotten his feet under him in recruiting and is gaining traction. He also appears to have solved the D coaching issue, and hopefully the new ST/co-OL coach pays dividends. I think CPJ has been willing to make changes to our weakest components (D and ST) a lot more willingly than CCG was with his weak offenses.

I do disagree about O'Leary's adept handling of academics. The game has changed, and many of those guys would not be on GT's campus today.

Oh I think O'Leary had some weaknesses in the way he handled academics as well and I acknowledge that some (I would disagree with the many part, but that's probably splitting hairs) of those players wouldn't be on the GT campus today. I was merely pointing out that one of O'Leary's policies was something that I believe probably should be come standard operating procedures for just about any coach at Tech. And that is the part about checking up on class attendance daily and swiftly punishing the players who do not go to class.

Whereas at a school with joke majors, missing a few classes may not be a big deal. Or for that matter, it might not be a big deal to miss a class at GT if you're the Sean Bedford type because you may be able to make it up. However, while the usual GT football player may academically far exceed the usual football player at other schools, that same usual GT football player doesn't really compare to the usual "non athlete" GT student. And the classes are taught at GT towards that brainiac kid. So the football player is already having to work harder to keep up. If he misses a day (or more...as was the case with a certain player), then he may very well (likely, IMO) put himself so far behind that he cannot catch up. Especially if such a player misses tests.

And please wait until you get to where you're going to respond. Heck, I hope you aren't even reading it while driving. Good, passionate, and civil GT fans are in short enough supply that we can hardly afford to lose any to texting & driving.
 

4shotB

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2,521
If we end up anywhere near this level it will be very disappointing and could be the straw that breaks CPJ free from GT

How do others see this if our results are in this range?

Kinda depends on the way it unfolds. another ho hum 7 wins with wins against the usual cast of characters and the losses to the same set of teams I will be disppointed. However a 1989 team - start slow but finish strong with a team that would return most of (if not all) the starters would be exciting and give us a rare boost of enthusiasm that is much needed for the program.
 

takethepoints

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Messages
4,661
I have two comments.

1. I think the writer underestimates our LBs, as some above have said. The reason I think this way is simple: Mercordes. I think he has the talent to be the best LB we've had since Keith Brooking. It is true that, as the review says, he'll make first year mistakes, but we haven't had that combination of speed and size back there in a long time. Hope I'm right about this, but the talent is there. Unfortunately, I agree that the jury is out on Harrell's injury. If he comes back, then our top 3 LBs are going to be a challenge for everybody.

2. For Buzz: I don't think you've noticed this in your comments, but what you are saying is that we are getting the same results with Coach despite having less talent. Gailey had a real nose for talent, it's true. But his teams performed at the same level or a bit below what we have now, NFL players and all. What that tells me is that either a) we were right to pick Coach since he can do more with the players we can get into Tech or b) we were right to pick Coach because he can find players who might not be NFL fits, but work fine in our O schemes or c) both. I'm going with c, though I see more talent out there then you do.
 

daBuzz

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
965
2. For Buzz: I don't think you've noticed this in your comments, but what you are saying is that we are getting the same results with Coach despite having less talent. Gailey had a real nose for talent, it's true. But his teams performed at the same level or a bit below what we have now, NFL players and all. What that tells me is that either a) we were right to pick Coach since he can do more with the players we can get into Tech or b) we were right to pick Coach because he can find players who might not be NFL fits, but work fine in our O schemes or c) both. I'm going with c, though I see more talent out there then you do.

or d) Coach Johnson and/or his system cannot recruit at the level as previous coaches.

Look, I'm not a football coach, but I've coached over 1000 baseball games. AAMOF, I just walked off the field from coaching my last game of the summer with a bunch of kids who will all play college baseball. You know what I've learned in all those games? As a general rule, the team with the best players will win a vast majority of the games, no matter how good the coaching is.
 

LongforDodd

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I dont disagree with everything in your post, and can't address all your points (i shouldn't be addressing any of them since I'm driving), but I definitely did not assert that offense was all that mattered (don't turn that thread into one of those debates -- there's more than enough of those). The whole program falls at CPJ's feet, without a doubt. I think he has gotten his feet under him in recruiting and is gaining traction. He also appears to have solved the D coaching issue, and hopefully the new ST/co-OL coach pays dividends. I think CPJ has been willing to make changes to our weakest components (D and ST) a lot more willingly than CCG was with his weak offenses.

I do disagree about O'Leary's adept handling of academics. The game has changed, and many of those guys would not be on GT's campus today.
Well done for being behind the wheel!
 

Dustman

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1,163
Kinda depends on the way it unfolds. another ho hum 7 wins with wins against the usual cast of characters and the losses to the same set of teams I will be disppointed. However a 1989 team - start slow but finish strong with a team that would return most of (if not all) the starters would be exciting and give us a rare boost of enthusiasm that is much needed for the program.
You're suggesting losses against Wofford, Tulane, and Ga Southern before we catch fire and finish 8-1?
 

4shotB

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2,521
You're suggesting losses against Wofford, Tulane, and Ga Southern before we catch fire and finish 8-1?

Call me a giddy optimist with gold colored glasses but I am thinking we come out of that stretch 3-0. It's the preseason...we are still in the mix for the previously mythical MNC.
 

Dustman

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Call me a giddy optimist with gold colored glasses but I am thinking we come out of that stretch 3-0. It's the preseason...we are still in the mix for the previously mythical MNC.
Lol but you said a slow start like the 89 team.
 

4shotB

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Lol but you said a slow start like the 89 team.

you are quite the literalist. let me clarify...let's say we come out of that stretch undefeated and then lose 2 out of the next 3. I don't know what the schedule is and am too lazy to look it up. Then win out (i.e. finish on an up note for a change, including the bowl game). That's the gist of the idea....not that the season would follow the '89 seasonexactly to the T.
 

takethepoints

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or d) Coach Johnson and/or his system cannot recruit at the level as previous coaches.

Look, I'm not a football coach, but I've coached over 1000 baseball games. AAMOF, I just walked off the field from coaching my last game of the summer with a bunch of kids who will all play college baseball. You know what I've learned in all those games? As a general rule, the team with the best players will win a vast majority of the games, no matter how good the coaching is.
I didn't coach 1000 baseball games; more like 350 or so.

What I learned is that a team that tries to get the fundamentals right will have problems at first and roll at the end. My teams commonly got whipped in the first half of the season, then crushed the same opponents in the second half. We learned; they didn't. Sort of like Coach's teams. Like they said up in Annapolis: when the leaves change, the offense rolls.

But … you still didn't address the question. If Coach can't recruit the same level of talent as coaches before him (a rebuttable presumption, imho), why does he get roughly the same results? And why did he get better results with the same talent base? Again, I'd say c.
 

Dustman

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you are quite the literalist. let me clarify...let's say we come out of that stretch undefeated and then lose 2 out of the next 3. I don't know what the schedule is and am too lazy to look it up. Then win out (i.e. finish on an up note for a change, including the bowl game). That's the gist of the idea....not that the season would follow the '89 seasonexactly to the T.
That's losses to VT and Miami, but wins over Clemson and in Athens. And presumably a good bowl win. I agree that would fuel optimism for 2015 but there will be a lot of grumbling in October after losing to VT and Miami. Sorry if I'm too literal but the schedule is what it is. :)
 

Squints

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or d) Coach Johnson and/or his system cannot recruit at the level as previous coaches.

Look, I'm not a football coach, but I've coached over 1000 baseball games. AAMOF, I just walked off the field from coaching my last game of the summer with a bunch of kids who will all play college baseball. You know what I've learned in all those games? As a general rule, the team with the best players will win a vast majority of the games, no matter how good the coaching is.

I'm with you in that talent is going to prevail more often than not but I don't like the baseball comparison. Football gives you the opportunity to scheme around a talent disadvantage while baseball really doesn't. So I think a talent advantage/disadvantage would be more evident in baseball. It's apples and oranges.
 

daBuzz

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965
I didn't coach 1000 baseball games; more like 350 or so.

What I learned is that a team that tries to get the fundamentals right will have problems at first and roll at the end. My teams commonly got whipped in the first half of the season, then crushed the same opponents in the second half. We learned; they didn't. Sort of like Coach's teams. Like they said up in Annapolis: when the leaves change, the offense rolls.

But … you still didn't address the question. If Coach can't recruit the same level of talent as coaches before him (a rebuttable presumption, imho), why does he get roughly the same results? And why did he get better results with the same talent base? Again, I'd say c.

How are you determining that he's getting roughly the same results?
We've already established that the '08 and '09 teams were heavily laden with NFL talent. In those 2 years, we 8-4 and 11-3. Since that talent has left the Flats, our records are 6-7, 8-5, 7-7, and 7-6. Are you really calling that doing the same with less talent?

I've already conceded that the man can apparently coach NFL talent well. But what that shows to me is that, when that talent goes, he does not appear to have the ability to restock the talent and you can expect teams that are around the .500 mark.

Also, regarding the baseball fundamentals things, that happens a lot in rec leagues and all-star teams. And talented teams that are fundamentally unsound are always susceptible to being beaten. But when the average pitch speed moves above the 85 mph mark, everything changes. When the other team can run 5 guys out there who are all 90 mph or better (at 16 years old, mind you), then coaching isn't going to give your guys the ability to hit that. You better have well-coached but very talented hitters on your team or you're toast.

To the poster who commented that football is easier to scheme around athletes than baseball, I agree with you 100%. However, what happens when the other team is well-coached also and they have the better talent? I'll still put my money on the team with the better athletes....like Virginia Tech, Clemson, UGA, and Miami. I think it's a simple formula with those games...they simply have better athletes than we do at this point in time. If we want to beat them consistently, I honestly believe that the only way to do that on a consistent basis is to get athletes who are more on par with what they're getting.
 
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Squints

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To the poster who commented that football is easier to scheme around athletes than baseball, I agree with you 100%. However, what happens when the other team is well-coached also and they have the better talent? I'll still put my money on the team with the better athletes....like Virginia Tech, Clemson, UGA, and Miami. I think it's a simple formula with those games...they simply have better athletes than we do at this point in time. If we want to beat them consistently, I honestly believe that the only way to do that on a consistent basis is to get athletes who are more on par with what they're getting.

That'd be me. But like said I largely agree with what you're saying.
 
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